Effectiveness of symptom validity measures in identifying cognitive and behavioral symptom exaggeration in adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

06:00 EDT 17th September 2010 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Effectiveness of symptom validity measures in identifying cognitive and behavioral symptom exaggeration in adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder."

This study examines the effectiveness of symptom validity measures to detect suspect effort in cognitive testing and invalid completion of ADHD behavior rating scales in 268 adults referred for ADHD assessment. Patients were diagnosed with ADHD based on cognitive testing, behavior rating scales, and clinical interview. Suspect effort was diagnosed by at least two of the following: failure on embedded and free-standing SVT measures, a score > 2 SD below the ADD population average on tests, failure on an ADHD behavior rating scale validity scale, or a major discrepancy between reported and observed ADHD behaviors. A total of 22% of patients engaged in symptom exaggeration. The Word Memory test immediate recall and consistency score (both 64%), TOVA omission errors (63%) and reaction time variability (54%), CAT-A infrequency scale (58%), and b Test (47%) had good sensitivity as well as at least 90% specificity. Clearly, such measures should be used to help avoid making false positive diagnoses of ADHD.


Department of Psychiatry, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: The Clinical neuropsychologist
ISSN: 1744-4144
Pages: 1-34


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